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The Fat Buddha, Budai

Many people in the West commonly confuse this jolly, laughing fellow with the Buddha, often calling him The Fat Buddha. I know I did when I was young. Those who are a little more familiar with Buddhism call him The laughing Buddha. His name is Budai, or Hotei in Japanese, and he was a Chinese zen monk around 900 AD. Some schools considered him an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha.

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